Championship predictions: Can Leeds take chance to go second?

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Bristol City vs Leeds, Fri 8pm – Live on Sky Sports Football

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David Prutton and Simeon Gholam look ahead to Bristol City vs Leeds on the Sky Sports Championship Predictions podcast

It is hard to know what to really make of Liam Manning’s Bristol City so far. The FA Cup results aside, the league form has been mixed. But it looks like he is being given scope to build, and next season could be when they really push on.

Leeds don’t have that kind of time. A win on Friday night takes them into second, at least temporarily. They are in brilliant form and all they can do is keep on winning and hope the others slip up. It should be another three points at Ashton Gate.

Prediction: 1-2 (Sky Bet odds)

Blackburn vs QPR, Sat 3pm

It may have come against League Two opposition, but that could turn out to be a big win against Wrexham for Blackburn. It may well help halt what has been an alarming slump in form.

QPR got a big result of their own in the league on Sunday. They would have wanted to beat Huddersfield of course, but six points adrift would have been perilous, so to score late on and take a point may prove a real boost. Can they build on that at Ewood Park? I’m not sure they can. Home win.

Prediction: 2-0 (Sky Bet odds)

Preston vs Ipswich, Sat 3pm

Just one win in five for Preston now. It is turning into a frustrating season because of how well they started. Familiarity can breed contempt and the fans want a bit of excitement rather than constant mid-table finishes.

Ipswich probably won’t know what hit them against Maidstone in the Cup. It was a game they never should have lost and Kieran McKenna will have to make sure it doesn’t impact upon their push in the league. He should get them focused to go again, and I think they should nick this one.

Prediction: 1-2 (Sky Bet odds)

Rotherham vs Southampton, Sat 3pm

Rotherham have undoubtedly improved under Leam Richardson, but they are still nine points adrift of safety and need to start winning rather than drawing games.

That is unlikely to happen against Southampton, the best team in the Championship right now. Their recent form has been incredible. The unbeaten run is stretching and stretching, and it will stretch a little further with victory at the New York.

Prediction: 1-3 (Sky Bet odds)

West Brom vs Birmingham, Sat 3pm

West Brom looked nailed on for a spot in the play-offs not too long ago, but a couple of defeats lately has seen the chasing pack catch up a bit. It doesn’t take a lot for that to happen in this league.

Birmingham are 20th as the weekend starts but it won’t take them too long to climb the league as Tony Mowbray continues to get his ideas across. Can they cause a stir at The Hawthorns? I think they could grab a draw.

Prediction: 2-2 (Sky Bet odds)

Middlesbrough vs Sunderland, Sun 12pm – Live on Sky Sports Football

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Prutton and Gholam look ahead to Middlesbrough vs Sunderland on the Sky Sports Championship Predictions podcast

It was a tough pill to swallow for Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup. After all that good work in the first leg, for it to come undone in the second leg the way it did at Chelsea was disappointing. Michael Carrick probably would have wanted another game sooner than this so there was no time to dwell on it.

He probably wouldn’t have chosen a local derby either. Michael Beale eased some of the strain on him with that win over Stoke, but a defeat here and any good faith from that result will quickly dissipate. They were thumped in the reverse fixture – albeit while down to 10 players – and can’t afford for the same to happen again here.

Prediction: 2-2 (Sky Bet odds)

Sunday 4th February 11:30am

Kick off 12:00pm

Remaining Championship predictions (all Sat 3pm kick-off)

Huddersfield vs Sheff Wed: 1-1

Hull vs Millwall: 2-1

Norwich vs Coventry: 1-1

Stoke vs Leicester: 1-3

Swansea vs Plymouth: 1-2

Watford vs Cardiff: 1-0

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